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InDesign New Tools for Old Tasks

AdobeR InDesignR CS5 has some new tools to make some familiar tasks faster and easier to complete. Let's take a look at the new and enhanced selection and editing tools.

The new Content Grabber tool makes cropping an image within a frame much easier. Just place your mouse over the center of an image to see this doughnut shaped tool. Click and drag the content within the frame to crop the image. As you drag with the Content Grabber, InDesign will give you an instant crop preview allowing you to see the entire image, even the part that is not within the frame.

The new Live Corner Effects will help you create interesting corners on images. Click on any image to get the familiar corner bounding boxes. Then you can easily rotate or resize the frame. But the nice feature is the on-object controls for the corner effects. Now, when you click on an object you will not only see the bounding boxes but also a new yellow, square in the upper right. When you click on the square and it changes to a diamond shape, you are ready to create a new corner effect. By default, all four corners will become curved. To create a corner effect on only one corner, use the Shift key. If you Option/Alt click the diamond, you can cycle through the other corner shape options. You can also use the new menu in the Control panel to choose a corner shape.

The new Image Grid works with the InDesign frame tools and your keyboard arrow buttons to automatically create an image placeholder grid. Just use any frame tool and drag over the place where you want the placeholder grid. Use the up/down arrows to control the number of columns in the grid. Each click gives you one column. Use the left/right arrows to control the number of rows. You can also use the new Image Grid to place multiple images in one step. Just load your place cursor with multiple images from the Mini Bridge, drag with a frame tool and click the arrow keys. The images will be automatically scaled and placed inside the Image Grid.

In previous versions of InDesign, when you resized a frame the content was cropped, usually in a way that you didn't like. Now you have the new Auto-Fit option that automatically scales the content in a frame as you resize the frame. Just turn on the Auto-Fill option in the Control panel before you resize the frame.

Another new tool is the Gap tool which you can use to control the white space between objects on a page. For example, with this tool you can keep the white space between objects consistent while resizing frames. You can also easily create more white space between two objects without altering the alignment of other objects on the page.

*Adobe provided a review copy to me free of charge.



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